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U.S. stocks open lower as investors await more economic data

Stocks retreated Thursday as investors cashed in profits from the previous session's rally ahead of the Conference Board's report on leading economic indicators.

Wall Street was also hesitant to drive stocks higher as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke at a Chicago conference on competition with the banking industry and subprime lending - a speech that could provide clues to whether problems with subprime mortgage loans could affect the broader economy.

The pullback in stocks came despite a surprise drop in jobless claims, which suggested that the employment market is stronger than many economists anticipated. The Labor Department reported the number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits fell for a fifth straight week to the lowest level in four months.

In the first few minutes of trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down about 32 points at the 13,455 level.

The US is going to ban exports of Iranian oil to the world market from November 5 of this year. In turn, Iran threatens to block the passage of oil tankers of the Gulf countries through the Strait of Hormuz

Will Iran close the Strait of Hormuz to trigger global oil crisis?

The US is going to ban exports of Iranian oil to the world market from November 5 of this year. In turn, Iran threatens to block the passage of oil tankers of the Gulf countries through the Strait of Hormuz

Will Iran close the Strait of Hormuz to trigger global oil crisis?

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